Who Went: Owen & Chelsey
Number of Visits: 1
What We Ordered: Chorizos, Pork Belly Tacos, & Tres Leches
What It Cost: $24.26
What We Thought:
Okay, I know, I know, two taco places in a row... I can't help it! I love tacos, they are quick and delicious and inexpensive.
We were driving home from shopping at those new dangerous outlet malls in Lehi the other night around 10, and decided that we were not quite ready to call it a night...and we wanted TACOS. Rather than stopping somewhere gross like Del Taco or Beto's (sorry to those who are fans...) we decided to stop at the long-anticipated Tortilla Bar - seriously, we've been following this restaurant since like April or something waiting for it to open! It was such a spur of the moment decision so I didn't have my camera - I apologize for the crummy phone pictures, but I just had to share this one right away!
The atmosphere was fairly dark (once again, not amazing photos, I know) and industrial, with very limited seating. It's kind of fun because the hot kitchen is right out there in the open with a bar right where you can watch the chefs work their magic. I originally tried to order the gordita from their menu, but the server said that they weren't serving that tonight, instead I could get something the guys in the back call "chorizos" that has squid. It sounded interesting, so I decided to go for it! I'm pretty sure that chorizo is really a spicy Mexican pork sausage, which seemingly had very little to do with this meal, but what the heck. I've only ever had squid in a fried form as calamari, and here in an unadorned, very fresh manner, it was new and delicious! The squid was served on top of little slices of crispy baguette with a creamy and savory sauce. The only thing that was a slight turn off where the large bits of rock salt that were sprinkled on top - they were a little overpowering, but fortunately there were only a few. On their Facebook and Twitter pages, this restaurant keeps talking about being a food rebel, and this plate definitely lived up to that reputation - it was unlike anything I've ever had before, and was very enjoyable.
The pork belly tacos were a little more similar to food we've had before - a rich juicy pork topped with pickled, sharp onions, refreshing cucumbers and crunchy chicharrónes. The tortillas were clearly freshly made, tender with a real delightful corn taste. I think I may need to have a tortilla show-down between Tortilla Bar and Taquería 27...they were both so good! The tacos were a little difficult to eat without everything falling out - a typical problem of tacos I suppose, but I felt like if the cucumbers were cut up a little bit (maybe even in half), it would have been much easier to enjoy. Nonetheless, it was a perfect little late-night snack and definitely satisfied our craving for something unique and tasty.
We weren't ready to quite be done with Tortilla Bar yet, so we went for the tres leches dessert. Not that you can really tell from the photo above, but it was a little square of soaked sponge cake with a banana topping, shaved coconut, and red pepper flakes! If you like milk at all and have never had tres leches, you are very much missing out on this sweet and satisfying dessert. It was a little disappointed with the small portion, but I guess since tres leches is very rich, you don't really need much to make an impact. I enjoyed the banana pairing, and the spicy red pepper flakes really gave it a fun kick, with a nice crunchy texture addition of the coconut. I thought it was absolutely delicious, and only regretted that I couldn't eat like four more of them!
What You Should Do: Definitely go and support this new and very unique restaurant! After all the hype, I would definitely say that Tortilla Bar is a wonderful new addition to the Utah County restaurant community, and I am very much looking forward to visiting there again and seeing what else they have to offer. One thing to be aware of though is their rather strange hours, which are posted on the door as this:
Breakfast 5 am - 11 am
Lunch 11 am - 4 pm
Late 8 pm - 5 am
Saturday Brunch 9 am - 12 pm (not sure on that last one, somehow my note got partially deleted...)
I am not sure if they really aren't open for dinner, and if they are really open all night long (I do not envy the person who has to work that shift!) but it's a great place to get a unique culinary delight at pretty much any time of day! I definitely want to try their Saturday brunch, and don't worry, I'll get better pictures next time!
Read other reviews here: